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  Master Gold & Silversmiths from the Netherlands in 1700/1800's

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Author Topic:   Master Gold & Silversmiths from the Netherlands in 1700/1800's

Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 02-17-2011 04:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello everyone,
I have always had a great interest in silver. I worked in a jewellers in London in my teenage years. I am now half way through a silversmithing course at our local art college and really enjoying it. I also started doing my family history this year. I have discovered that my great grandfather was a jeweller from Holland. Its in the genes!

Does anyone know where I can find information about master gold & silversmiths and the guilds that existed around the 1700/1800's in the Netherlands?

Are there any registers of the members of guilds or of makers marks from that time?

It seems that my Saalmans ancestors from around the Nijmegen area in the Netherlands were a family of a long line of Gold & Silversmiths. I have found information about one piece that was auctioned in 2007 that is listed as made by HH Saal 1858, Nijmegen which was my great grandfather's uncle Henricus Hubertus Saalmans born 1804 but that is the only reference I can find on the net. My great grandfather arrived in London in the 1860's and established himself as a jeweller/watchmaker.

I would like to find out what life was like as a silversmith in the Netherlands back then. I would be most grateful for any information that could point me in the right direction.

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-17-2011 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello to you, nice story you wrote and it is always to look for history in the family.

Tomorrow I will look if I also can find something about H.H. Saalmans.

Because in Holland a lot of mistakes were made by changing the family name at birth certificates it's perhaps also possible information can be found with the family name Saalmans spelled like "Saelmans".

History about Family names, normal go back until around 1600.

But I will give it a try and will return if I've found something.

Success with your study and learning.

Greetings silverhunter(andré)from the Netherlands.

Our family name was around 1600 Quackernaeck and a family relative was on board of the ship sailed to Japan with the V.O.C.but that's another story.

Nowadays the family name is changed by making mistakes with birth certifications.

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 02-18-2011 06:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Silverhunter,

Thank you so much for the reply.

I will be very grateful if you could find anything for me. I have only just started my family research in the Netherlands but have found that a lot of records have been kept although of course it is more difficult for me as I don't speak Dutch. Only last night I found out that Hendricus had a shop at 'the Lange Hezelstraat' in Nijmegen and he sold gold and silver. Its all so exciting!

How interesting that you have such a lovely story in your own family. I don't know a lot about the VOC so I just looked it up on Wikipedia. It always amazes me how relatively small countries like your own could have such an impact on world trade back in a time when it was a great achievement just to be able to navigate huge sailing ships to far distant lands. What wonderful adventures those men must have had! Did they traded in silver during those times?

It is a good idea to look for different spellings...thank you for the tip.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
living in South West Wales UK

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-19-2011 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello to you Lil,

I've found some information:
(perhaps you already knew, but I give it a try).

Henricus Hubertus Saalmans was married on 23.04.1846.
The father of Henricus Hubertus was called Petrus Michaels Saalmans.

There are also female persons named Saalmans)who lived in Westfalen, Rheinland Germany.

Perhaps you have family in Liverpool?

I found the names Henry Charles Saalmans and clock and watchmaker Henry Sr.

There was a gold and silversmith mentioned named Johannes Saalmans in Nijmegen.

A certain H.J.Saalmans lived in the L.Hezelstr.49 in the city of Nijmegen around 1915.

Your interpretation about Nijmegen is good.

The silver gilds stopped in Holland in 1798.

Further information was from a website in the U.S.A. that there were only 7 persons
were born in the 20th century, 12 persons were born in the 19th century and 1 person also named Saalmans in the 18th century.

This figures were only registered on their website.

Also another spelled name was a silversmith Henricus Saelmans in 's-Hertogenbosch, town in the province Brabant.

In the 19th century many people died with TBC (tuberculosis) christian families with standard large family members, a part of their child's died.

Your opinion about your family is good concerning your gens are silver and gold.
Artistic etc.

If I found more I let you know!
Greetings André (from Holland)

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June Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 1009
Registered: Apr 93

posted 02-19-2011 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the forums,lil.

A good reference for Netherlands' precious metals is called Netherlands' Responsibility Marks since 1797 published by the Holland Assay Office in 1997. It includes a brief historic survey and lots of marks. ISBN 90-802403-2-X.

Please keep us posted on your progress.

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-20-2011 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another book I've found at internet is called ; Nijmeegs Zilver from 1400-1900.

(G.Lemmens en Juliette Bogaers)it is payable
for € 8,95 (second hand in good order)in an antique bookshop in Holland. If you are interested you can give a reaction.

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 02-20-2011 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Silverhunter,
Thank you so much. You have found a lot for me and I will definitely follow it all up.

I do know about the Liverpool side but I knew nothing of the German connection except that one son was a soldier in Batavia at some time. I will follow that up as well. Thank you for the actual address of Hendricus as although I knew the street I didnt know the number. Now I shall have somewhere to visit when I go to Nijmegen, if the building is still there of course.

It is interesting that you say a lot of children died with TBC as I wondered why only 2 children of my great great grandfather survived to adulthood. I had read that because Nijmegen was a walled city it got very overcrowded until they allowed building outside the walls. I should imagine that diseases would spread very quickly.

As I would like to see if I can buy some silver items made by my ancestors could you tell me if it is possible to find silver for sale that is made by a certain person. Is there any publication for example that lists the makers specifically?

Thank you again for taking the time to help me so much I really appreciate it.
Warm wishes

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 02-20-2011 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the welcome June. I will try to find a copy of that book it sounds very interesting.

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 02-20-2011 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would definitely be interested in the book Nijmeegs Zilver from 1400-1900.

I think I am going to have to learn Dutch!

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-20-2011 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No thanks and I hope you can use some information.

I've looked at a certain website concerning maps and found the address. There is street view, research confirm that the building is still used as retail store. Give it a try from your side!

The building is at a corner and in the neighborhood they are repairing other old buildings.

I will look for more information.

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Posts: 598
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 02-20-2011 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I admire the way you cope with English so I hope you will you forgive me for a little English lesson. Instead of "no thanks" in your last post you should say "my pleasure" or "not at all". No thanks is the opposite of yes please and not the equivalent of the germanic "nichts zu danken" or whatever the Dutch version is.

Best wishes


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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-21-2011 05:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello David,

I'm still learning from my mistakes(also now) and please don't think : "no thanks".

I've a lot of homework to do (research)so short reaction from this side.

Not at all - geen dank.
My pleasure - graag gedaan.

I thank you very much and I hope there are some members who also want to help to give information concerning this topic.
(Concerning dutch silvermaster/s .. named Saalmans).


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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 02-28-2011 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Lil,

A short reaction from my side is, until now I was not able to visit the library in Rotterdam, but I don't forget it!

I hope to find there silver marks considering your great grandfather if it is possible.

I also check the websites concerning the few auctions I know in Holland perhaps there will be more silver items for sale?.

And I try to buy the book (which I mentioned)and hope to find more information.

Translations will help of course, if there is information in the book about H.H.Saalmans, I let you know!

Like a pit bull I'm hunting (not for silver)but for information.

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 03-01-2011 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you so much Andre. I am very grateful that you are taking so much time and trouble to help me. I am quite excited as I have found even more silversmiths in the family.

It really must be in the genes!I may have left it a bit late in life to take up silversmithing (I'm 59) but it seems I was fated to do it eventually Haha!I knew my grandfather was a jeweller but I had no idea about the master smiths in his family.
Here is what I have found:-

Henry Saalmans (jeweller in Liverpool England - my great grandfather) was born Hendrikus Johannes Hubertus Wouters in Nijmegen on 12th July 1840. He came to London sometime before 29th January 1866 when he married Elizabeth Whitehead there. They moved to Liverpool and the whole family changed surname to Saalmans about 1890 (his mothers maiden name)I don't know why. They always say 'follow the money' don't they so maybe a family inheritance was involved as they then moved to a much more expensive house.

His father was Johannes Wouters (my great great grandfather)and he was born in Nijmegen on the 22th of February 1811 and married Elisabeth Saalmans. It was her brother who was the Hendricus Huburtus Saalmans that made the condiment set I found auctioned in 2007. Johannes Wouters and Elisabetha Saalmans lived in Nijmegen in the Korte Nieuwstraat about 1833 and in the Hezelstraat about 1853. He left Nijmegen in 1879. I think he may have gone to Amsterdam but I am not sure.

Elisabeth's father was Petrus Michel Saalmans (my great great great grandfather) who was born in 1774 in 's-Hertogenbosch. By 1794 he was in Nijmegen and was granted 'citizens rights'on the 28th of May 1794. I believe you needed this to become a member of the guilds and trade in Nijmegen and even own a property I suppose. He married Joanna de Wild on 3rd May 1803. He owned a house on Lange Hezelstraat, Nijmegen. He died on the 12th March 1854 in Nijmegen.

All of these people were stated to be master gold & silversmiths as their occupation on their marriage records. I can only suppose that there could have been other brothers or uncles that were also in the business but I have not had time for more research yet.

If you can find any reference to any of these names and their makers marks it would be wonderful. You have really started me on an exciting journey Andre 'my pit bull' haha Thank you again.

Warm wishes Lil

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 03-08-2011 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last week I've visited the library in Rotterdam. There was some information, but also information found by internet. If it is possible? I hope you can get my e-mail address from the SMP Forum. I hope it is a possibility?. There are some addresses which I've found for to get more information.

In one of the articles I've found a person who was also interested in the name Henricus Saelmans silversmith in the 18th century it was his betovergrootvader(great3x)grandfather and also found your greatgreatgreatgrandfather's name? Perhaps family relative?

That person works in the archive in the town hall of 's-Hertogenbosch (city Den Bosch,called nowadays). (so he sits close to the fire). Perhaps I can contact this person in the future?.
Short reaction from this side, but more news I hope to send you by e-mail if you want of course.
Greetings André.

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Posts: 7
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 03-09-2011 06:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilith0604     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How kind you are to spend your time helping me and what wonderful information you are finding. It is so exciting that you may have found someone who is related to me! and, like you say, 'sitting so close to the fire' What a lovely expression that is.

I have emailed the forum asking them to send you my email address so I hope you hear from them soon.

Thank you again for your help
warm wishes

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Posts: 704
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 03-09-2011 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for silverhunter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Lil,

Thank you for your fast reply and nice reaction.

Today it was a good hunting, I found the names of five brothers and five sisters of Petrus Michaël Saelsmans. I make a family tree (that is growing fast).

The parents of this big family were Henricus Saelmans married with Henrica Janssen.(They lived all in Den Bosch).

Until one of the direct line moved to Nijmegen like you know already and mentioned yourself.

But I continue my work, like I promised and hopefully I will be able to receive your e-mail address, for to send you all the information I have. I also made a appointment for to send a e-mail to the archive of Den Bosch to get more information if there is?

Greetings André.

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